We know what you’re thinking. “Of course this site is going to say Nashville is one of the best cities in America. This site is all about Tennessee!” That may be true, but we’re not the only ones saying it. Take it from the 13 million+ visitors that drop by our beautiful city every year who seem to agree. It hasn’t always been the place to be, but we’ve narrowed it down to 10 reasons why this city has become everyone’s favorite over the past decade.
10. The “Goo-Goo Cluster”
(Picture: Green Olive Media)
It may just be a candy bar but it’s our precious candy bar. It was created right here in the heart of Nashville. In fact, when this little beauty was released in 1912, it was considered the first-ever combination candy bar. This circular treat contains marshmallow, nougat, caramel, and roasted peanuts--all smothered in delicious milk chocolate. Sounds good, right? Wrong. It’s great.
9. The Grand Ole Opry/Ryman Auditorium
(Picture: Nashville On the Move)
These country music icons are located in separate parts of Nashville, but if you have time you should absolutely visit both. The Grand Ole Opry show actually used to be hosted in the Ryman from 1943 to 1974 until owners decided the show needed its own separate building. That’s when the Grand Ole Opry House was born. This landmark is located by the Opry Mills Mall (another place to visit) on the north east side of Nashville. Both venues have hosted almost every country music star you can think of. They even hold funerals for some of the biggest legends to ever play in these buildings (George Jones, Jimmy Dickens, etc). Being named a member of the Opry is the crowning achievement that every music star dreams about; that being said, you can’t come to Nashville and not visit one of these venues.
8. Local Music
Once you hit lower Broadway, you can’t spit in any direction without hitting a performer (though we wouldn’t recommend that) We like to think this a good thing though. Just about any night of the week you’ll find musical artists on the streets and in every bar. It’s best to visit on the weekends though if you’re looking for some real talent. It’s also cool walking into bars knowing some big time artists used to once play in places like this. Who knows? Maybe you’ll bump into one of them while you’re down there.
7.The Rich History
(Pictures: The Tennessean / Nashville.gov)
It’s hard to go anywhere in Nashville without seeing some sort of memorial marker. Every corner you turn there’s a monument honoring a war hero or legendary musician. The city incorporates the perfect balance of new and old, which is probably why tourists love it so much. Some places to visit would be the Country Music Hall of Fame in the heart of downtown and the ever-famous Parthenon replica built in 1897 after Nashville was coined “The Athens of the South.”
6. CMA Fest
This may be only one weekend out of the year, but just about any country music loving resident will tell you it’s hands down one of the best. Hundreds of thousands come from every state and over 40 nations to witness this musical phenomenon. This past year over $60 million in direct revenue was generated from the event and it was sold out seven months in advance. That alone ought to tell you how exciting this weekend is. Even if you don’t go to the concerts, the entertainment in downtown is more than enough to make your trip worth it.
5. The Food
(Pictures: roadfood.com / ohamanda.com)
There are so many great dining options in Nashville we had trouble narrowing it down. We’ll just sum it up by saying that whatever type of food you want, Nashville has it. However, some places that should definitely be visited are Loveless Café, Monell’s, and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. Just about every country music star from the southern United States has stopped by Loveless café at some point. Martha Stewart even said it was the best breakfast she had ever had. And don’t be surprised if you see someone famous in there because it happens pretty frequently. While we’re on the subject of breakfast, Pancake Pantry is also a notable place to check out if you can get inside (there is always a line). If none of those places make your mouth water, you can always play it safe and visit one of the numerous BBQ joints throughout Middle TN. Just keep in mind it may not compare to Memphis BBQ if that’s more your style.
4. The People
(Picture: The Tennessean)
We wouldn’t be surprised at all if the people of Nashville are the reason for the coining of the term “Southern Hospitality.” People are genuinely nice in a lot of southern cities but nothing compares to the citizens of Nashville. You may think we’re just saying that but even America agrees. Travel + Leisure named Nashville as the “Friendliest City in America” for three years in a row! Whether it is the grocery store, restaurant, or local bar, people will not hesitate to talk to you and make you feel welcome. We like to think it’s because they love living in such a great city!
3. It’s a Great Area to Raise a Family
If you are looking for a place with a great job market, affordable living, and a great education for your kids, then Middle TN is the place to be. Keep in mind, we speak more for the surrounding area of Nashville in this section than downtown itself. Nashville Metro schools do not compare to most surrounding school systems, although there has been a great deal of improvement the past few years. Also don’t stress too much about finding a decent church in this area if your family is searching. There are over 700 churches in the area of all sizes and denominations. In fact, Tennessee is home to 67 mega churches within its border, which happens to be the most in the nation per capita (Via: Tennessean). Now you know why we are called “The buckle of The Bible Belt.”
You’ve probably seen it in pictures, but they don’t do it justice. With the famous “Bat Man Building” towering over it and the Cumberland River at it’s back, it’s one of the most picturesque scenes in the South. For a quarter mile, it’s neon signs and street performers as far as the eye can see. There are also some great restaurants on the street that should be visited including Hard Rock Café and Rock Bottom Brewery. When it comes to bars, it’s hard to go wrong with most of them on the weekends, although there are some that should be avoided. Just be prepared for a swarm of cowboy hats and boot-wearing tourists if you plan on going. If you’re apart of the younger crowd, we advise you to check out the nearby Printer’s Alley. There you’ll find more of the college crowd that floods Nashville.
1. The Pro Sports Teams
Last but not least we have our beloved Titans and Predators. You probably don’t hear a lot about these teams because they are small market compared to many bigger cities. But that doesn’t take away from how much we love them (no matter how much they disappoint us). Both of these teams were brought to our beloved city in the late 90s; one gained the popularity of many very quickly, one not so much. I’m sure you can guess which one didn’t catch on, and if you can’t figure it out it was the Preds. It’s shocking that hockey wasn’t popular in the south isn’t it? (Sarcasm). After many average years, the Preds were nearly taken away from us in 2007 from a Canadian owner who wanted another NHL team in Canada. As soon as that news spread through Nashville a rally was organized to keep our team here; over 12,000 showed up to show their support and ever since then it’s been nothing but up for them. After multiple playoff runs over the past few years the Preds now sellout over half of their games every season and have made Bridgestone Arena one of the worst venues to play in for opposing teams. Take that, hockey purists. Also if you haven’t heard, we have a newfound love for baseball here in Nashville now that our minor league team has a beautiful new stadium. Check out our experience here: http://www.everythingtn.com/blogs/news/30228737-the-first-tennessee-park-experience
Hopefully after reading this you’ll start to love Nashvegas just as much as we do, and if you don’t then we’ll just assume you haven’t experienced this great city yet!